When bad peplums happen to good people


There are some things that just can’t be bad. Kittens, ice cream, noir movies on a rainy evening….until this weekend I would have included the peplum in this sacred group. Until I spent 5 hours in the Sewist Bordello wrestling a zipper and creating  UFU…..yes, UF..the U is for Ugh. Much Ugh. I had my little Butterick monster up on Ms Holloway and trying to decide if contrasting sleeves were the right idea.

The picture is from my phone and the bodice is not yet attached. So I was visualising myself at a meeting as Lady Beckham…

and here comes the husband…..’Oh, I like it. It looks like a formal uniform for a space hottie.’

Um.

Huh.

Eh.

When one is picturing themselves as Peplum Pulchritude Incarnate, they don’t need THIS to be their guiding visual:  Really! It totally put me off my hamster dinner. then the zipper decided to take on a life of its own and just flat-out refuse to lay down and behave. I had ripply buttedness and ridges like a baby stegosaurus?! By the 3rd zipperectomy and zipperplasty, I had a fine map of previous zipper scars all down the back and a headache behind my left eye. I finally decided that enough was enough. My visions of this dress turning me into the darling of the steno pool were totally dashed. Luckily the fabric was one of those free pieces from Fabricmart and no deeply loved textiles suffered at the hands of Peplum Apocalypse 2012! 

So my question is- when is it time to let something go?  This dress did not end up in the closet with a revisit plan- it ended up going out with the cat litter and old pizza crust. It hurt to waste the fabric, it did. I felt totally guilty about it  and sure that all the well-planning, planet loving sewists out there were struck down with horrible pains when that frock hit the hefty bag. I try to be good, I do. I try to utilize the fabric and resources I’ve been given and appreciate the spoiledness that I revel in, I truly do. Sometimes tho, I’m just sewing for the love of the activity and things can get ugly and I just have to let the project go. If I don’t, I just know finishing the piece and keeping it will not serve any purpose-I’ll probably never wear it and even resent it a little bit…..so tell me- have you ever just tossed something out?  Give me your most encouraging tale of bad pattern horror…make me fel better.

photo credits: google images, pattern review

67 thoughts on “When bad peplums happen to good people

  1. As a rule I try & reuse fabric as much as possible, but I’ve tossed things too. Not many at all, but one of them was huge. I had never made a quilt before & was trying to get it done for class (art school). Didn’t turn out. At all. I kept it for awhile, but eventually chucked it. Queen sized bed worth of muslin on the front & back as well as batting. Yowch. In hindsight I wish I’d kept the batting, but it was nice not to have that horrible thing leering at me every time I stepped into my closet (where I had stuffed it as far out of sight as possible).

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  2. “Space hottie”? Oh, boy. That sounds like something my husband would say. One time he said I looked like a cult leader. That made it easy to cut up the thing I had made. The fabric was too precious to throw out but the new dress looked nothing (I hope) like the first go around.

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  3. mrsmole says:

    Some fabric is not meant for peplum use and sometimes you don’t know that until you get to your construction stage. But when you get there, you know in your heart that it will never be right and out it has to go. Unless you can salvage the peplum and remake it into Pilgrim cuffs you need to stop. Maybe free fabric comes with a curse…in fact I think things like Outlet clothes also come with something wrong with them other than legs of different sizes being sewn together and seams forgotten to be over locked. It was a muslin, it served it’s purpose telling you what was right and wrong…taking out zippers and replacing them is good practice….after 40 years of doing that one can get quite non-nonchalant and not bat an eye. In this instance you were student and teacher…and much was taught and much was learned and it did not actually cost money….yippee…don’t we call that a freebie?

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    • I’m stitching all of this onto a pillow and I shall look at it daily! I feel much better about a bad muslin than a bad space uniform! I hope my pilgrim cuffs don’t get annoying when I drive…..

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  4. Heh, I’ve lobbed an entire garment! I tried to save the horsehair braid but lost the will to live, so the whole lot went bin-wards… It was cheap polyester though and I didn’t love the fabric, or the item… I do feel a bit bad about the amount of petro-chemicals that are never going to decompose though, but on a selfish level I’d have cried if that Wadder had been wool!

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  5. it could have made a great halloween costume (with your husband’s imagination…)!
    i guess the gut don’t lie. there’s no point in keeping it around if it makes you seethe/cry/hide, so don’t feel guilty. on a brighter note, what is your rebound make going to be?

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  6. It’s encouraging to us beginning sewists that even the voices of much experience have their ‘wadder’ moments! I agree…let it go and don’t look back! I LOVE that gorgeous red dress on LB…and I’ve been looking at patterns for a dress like that for my daughter to no avail.

    For now, I’m putting peplums on my “approach with extreme caution” list. I think it’s like number 216, right after silk charmeuse…!

    Can’t wait to see your next project! You’re always an inspiration 🙂

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  7. Yes, I’ve definitely shamelessly chucked wadders!! My first adult project, a blue chiffon wraparound Vogue blouse was a total wadder. I did beautiful French seams & painstakingly hand catchstitched the facing but alas, I had not learned about the all-important FBA yet, so the blouse was four sizes too big everywhere but my chest, where it was STILL too small lol.

    It’s all a learning experience so it’s never a waste 🙂

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  8. I have absolutely no guilt – environment, economical or otherwise – for any of my wadders, and these include ridiculous fabrics like cashmere, silk jersey, Linton tweeds and other such nonsense. Nope. Because muslins are a waste of sewing time, right? HA! And seriously, if the pieces are small enough, why the heck would I want to cut it up for something else? It’s a cursed item and I hate it if it reaches wadder stage. I most certainly don’t want to see that fabric languishing in my stash or sneaking out of my remnant bin into Barbie clothes or something of that ilk. Chalk it up to a learning experience and PRACTICE of sewing skills, which does make perfect, especially if a lot of work goes into said wadder. I just have to say that I’m laughing so hard my dental freezing is hurting. bwahahahahaha! The clincher was the hamster dinner.

    BTW, back in the old teen days, I loved peplums. I’m not so sure I would try them now, though. I think they’d accentuate certain portions of fluff I’ve accumulated over the years. I’d have to do a lot of buyless shopping before I attempted a peplum again.

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  9. I’m the same way, I hate throwing away fabric, even when it’s cheap crappy stuff. That’s why I tend to avoid making muslins whenever possible, but sometimes I figure it’s worse to throw away the more expensive stuff than cheap cotton (because at least cotton should break down fairly quickly). It’s a bummer when things don’t work out, but sometimes you just have to know when to say when, and chalk it up to a learning experience.

    I’m not totally sure if I could rock the peplum look or not, so I haven’t made one up yet, even though I’ve coveted other people’s makes with a peplum. Maybe after I tackle this coat I’ll consider making one, since I think the skirted look isn’t too bad on me….or else I’m deluding myself, which is entirely possible. 😉

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  10. Jenny says:

    I’m all about No Guilt in the Sewing Room. If a garment-in-progress ends up in the garbage, then I say it had it coming.
    Have I ever ruthlessly trashed a make?
    Simplicity 2702.
    It knows what it did.

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  11. – make it into a cushion! and after a while your sofa will tell your sewing story. You could go even further and embroider a word to remind you of the lesson learned. In this case peplum or should that be zipper? Anyway all been there, get back in the saddle : )

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  12. rosyragpatch says:

    I’ve often hated a finished item – it sits in the cupboard for a while (sometimes years) and then gets turned into skirt, bag, quilt fabric – whatever. I still make things that have no relevance to my life or looks. A hazard of sewing, I think.

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  13. BWAH HA HA! Check you out, sassy future space ship air steward. I’ll totes have my delicious pill of gin and tonic now… Sometimes you need to cut and run. Feel no shame if it is a hot mess! I refashion where I can but there have been a couple of pieces that I have passed on to Goodwill and let them make a decision for me.

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    • Oh, the Goodwill….that could be tense. This weekend we had the ‘is it really doing the less fortunate a favor by giving them your used dress socks?’ discussion.The husband and I went round and round about his ‘mangy socks for the needy’ plans!

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  14. Such a shame – not the loss of fabric – but that it looked so good. Beautiful colour – lovely style. Shame you couldn’t finish it. Unfortunately most of what I sew ends up in the bin… not too good at recycling (or sewing for that matter). Looking at my talley I have only 6 completed garments out of about 15 sewing attempts….. *sigh*….

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    • We get the knowledge and the progress tho, right? 6 fab garments is so much better than 15 that you are depressed by. The color was amazing- even if purple does make me look like I have liver failure….

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  15. Oh yes. I think any seamstress can relate to your story 🙂 But, it is sad every time. I have come to realize that sewing to a great extent is a learning process,- and learning can be expensive. But I isnt it also a investment? I am sure you learned something or another from this project too 🙂

    I have had so many things that have left this house without much wear. Tops I have made for my daughters, of course they are not polite about it, if they do not like it they do not wear it. Sometimes I try to reuse the fabric other times it just doesnt work out.

    Just recently I brought out a jacket I worked on about a year ago. In the winter I have a tendency to get so cold. So I decided I would knit up some wool, felt it and then sew a nice thick jacket from it. I sewed the bodice. It just did not look right. I put it away. About two weeks ago I brought it out again, found a contrasting fabric, put in a zipper and made sleeves. Oh….. I have fussed so much over that project, but you know what I do not like it. It is so heavy, I might as well put on my down jacket in stead of this. I would probably be more comfortable. I havent tossed it yet, I look a little at it and wonder if there is anything I can do to salvage it. But I just know I will not wear it.

    So, back to the learning process. I have learned something. Some times it is hard to define what. But this time it is both on working wigh bulky fabrics and getting the feel of what I really like to wear. I am getting there. I am getting better, the things I make now are much better then even a year ago.

    Just take whatever knowledge you can get and embrace it. It isnt a waste. Its ok. Good luck 🙂

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  16. I’ve dumped a couple of outfits when my wonderful idea was a mess in reality. I do try to keep the fabric but in the times I’ve dumped outfits, they started with ugly fabric anyway. What was I thinking!?
    The V pic is a classic. And if I do a peplum for me, it won’t have any flounce. I just can’t wear flounce like Queen Beckham.

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  17. Aw man, nothing’s worse than having to pitch something, but really, why leave something hanging around that you know you’ll never finish? I just attacked an ugly FO today and refashioned it a bit, but it will only ever be worn as a PJ top– definitely not suitable for wear outside the house! Sometimes you gotta listen to old Kenny Rogers and know when to fold ’em!

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  18. I have a really hard time letting things go. I can’t remember ever tossing anything but did once send something to Goodwill without ever wearing it because I thought it looked like a waitress’ uniform.

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  19. I too have a hard time throwing things out. What I do for sucky sewing projects, is I put it in the muslin/sample drawer. So, if I tackle the pattern again I have a record of what went wrong. Or if I know I will never take up that pattern again I’ve been known to make hats out of the disaster and one time I needed to make a sample and I just re-used the fabric to make the muslin.

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  20. Teehee, I have chucked stuff. Somestimes there is nothing else you can do, and there is nothing worse than a half-finished project you hate lurking in your sewing cupboard. Onwards and upwards!! 😀

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  21. Ms VB looks a bit plastic! It may be the ‘stand-in’. If my mind isn’t in the right zone, if I’m not happy with the fabric – colour and texture – if I’m unsure about the style – then nothing goes right with the sewing. And yes, there are more things dumped, rolled up and out of sight than completed and worn. Believe

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  22. The peplum had been naughty and needed time out – even if that was in the trash can.
    I binned my first ever Peony – very early in my blog (I could not even bear to photograph it I was that crushed so you are a better blogger than me!) I did rip out the zipper though….

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  23. jadesabre9 says:

    I haven’t yet tossed anything – I apparently prefer to leave my failures in a visible place as a reminder to myself of the suckage that was that project. Cthulu bag is a prime example. I think I am hoping that I will one day hate him so much that I will fix him. The fabric is too cute to throw him away, but the tentacles just don’t make him a functioning bag …

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  24. nicebuttsdrivemenuts says:

    Diana from V can’t be all bad!! I don’t know how to sew (yet) myself, but I have wanted to take a flamethrower to pieces that people have sewn for me for the business. Such as the dog sweater that wouldn’t even fit on a gerbil…

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  25. sara says:

    I find your writing so entertaining, but most of all I love your honestly and the fact that you will post about your blunders. Umm…seriously though, you gave up after being called a space hottie? I’d love to be called a hottie—no matter the decade referenced. As for throwing disasters out, I am all for it. I’d say I discreetly get rid of one in five projects. Ok, maybe not so secretly; there is usually swearing, loud noises, and general kid at the grocery store having a fit behavior. Sewing is so much fun.

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  26. That is a pity – the colour looks soo nice. I figure that if the peplum dress didn`t come flying out of the bin ( along with the kitty litter ) and you haven`t been struck down by lightning then you have got away with this ( this time !)Looking foward to your next creation.

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  27. I have thrown things out … a pair of would-be corduroy jeans (after the third breaking needle nearly cost me an eye), and a black linen Colette Parfait. Both I would have loved to finish, but so many things went wrong during construction that it just wasn’t possible to salvage them. Also, I don’t need trousers who have tried to kill me, lol! Who knows what happens if you actually get to wear them …

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